Common Weed Control Methods used in North America


Noxious and injurious weeds can be very harmful to both livestock and domesticated plants. For a plant to be termed as a weed, it must portray some characteristics such as having little value, competitive with other plants for resources such as nutrients, water, light, and space. The last characteristic that a weed portrays is having rapid growth. Since time immemorial, agriculturalists have developed many ways of controlling weeds such as hand control, use of chemicals, and biological control. Methods used to control weeds are based on many things such as the size of infestation, plant life cycle, management objectives and environmental parameters in place. Read through this article to discover the many ways used to control weed in North America.

Chemical control
Use of herbicides has proved to be efficient when it comes to weed control and when time is a factor. With advanced technology, these herbicides are selective such that they do not injure specific grasses that have been infested by the weeds. The herbicides used for weed control should be EPA approved. It’s your responsibility as the user to read the labels that come along with the herbicide and remember that the label is considered as legally binding. In most cases, herbicides are applied through spraying and equipment calibration is very important as the herbicide will be effective if applied in the right quantities. If you use the wrong mixing calculations, you are likely to injure non-target crops. For those dealing with large tracts of land, they can hire weed control services, and they will control the weeds on their behalf. These professionals are trained to prevent pervasive weeds from damaging your crops.

Biological control
Where it’s possible to suppress vigor and growth of weeds, biological control has proven very successful. Living organisms that have been used as a biological control method include horses, sheep, and goats through grazing. Others include insect, fungi, and bacteria. There are numerous agencies offering biological weed control services in North America. Biological control is also a key component of the integrated pest management framework that combines nematologists, plant pathologists, and weed scientists to fight against pests and weeds.

Mechanical Control
It’s possible to suppress the growth of weeds through physical disruption especially on small tracts of land. Physical disruption is also effective in lawn care. Methods that have successfully being tried under this category include disking, digging, mowing, plowing and pulling. Pulling is commonly used in lawn care to remove biennial species of weed species such as diffuse knapweed, musk thistle, and Kochia.

While some methods will work on one piece of land, they may fail on another piece. For farmers to completely manage weeds, they require the correct identification of the plant followed by choosing the right control method. Finally, farmers should then learn to observe the effects as time goes by. More resources can be found at the Weed Man USA website.